Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) is searching for a new national team head coach, Times Sport has reliably learnt.
Interim head coach Jimmy Mulisa and his assistant Vincent Mashami will not continue to handle the national team as they were only put in charge for the 2017 African Cup of Nations last Group H qualifier, which was played on Saturday and ended 1-1 in Accra.
Sources within FERWAFA said the federation is hoping to get a new coach through their partnership with their German counterparts, DFB.
Speaking exclusively to Times Sport on Sunday, FERWAFA president Vincent Nzamwita, confirmed that talks between the two federations have already started, and that through this partnership, Rwanda will get an “affordable” new coach.
“We need a new head coach and we are in talks with the German FA to create a partnership, which we believe will help us develop our football from the grassroots and also build a strong national team,” revealed Nzamwita.
After failing to qualify for the 2017 AfCON finals tournament in Gabon and already out of the 2018 World Cup Russia qualifiers, Rwanda will not participate in international football for nearly two years apart from the regional CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, which is always played in November and December.
Nzamwita added, “We are not in a rush to appoint a new coach since the team doesn’t have any international competition coming soon, we will take our time and look for a very good coach but who is not very expensive.”
“We need someone who will raise the level of the national team, so hopefully, through our partnership with the German FA and with their help, we will be able to identify the right man for the job,” Nzamwita explained.
Nzamwita further noted that the new coach will not only be in charge of the national team, but will also help in training local coaches, who will in turn work to develop the game at the grassroots level.
FERWAFA’s partnership with DFB is not a new development – Rwanda has previously benefitted from the partnership. Former Amavubi head coach Michael Nees and technical director Michael Weiss were hired through the partnership.
Nees was in charge of Amavubi between 2006 and 2007. He was also in charge of the U-20 team that brought the likes of Haruna Niyonzima, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and Elias Uzamukunda to prominence.
And, under Weiss, Rwanda got ‘the golden generation of coaches’ such as Mashami, Innocent Seninga, Sosthene Habimana and Theonas Ndanguza, among others.
High number of coaches
The new head coach will take over permanently from Northern Irishman Johnny McKinstry, who was sacked three weeks ago before being replaced by Gilbert Kanyankore and Eric Nshimiyimana, who were meant to work temporarily but the duo was also ‘sacked’ after just four days.
The Ministry of Sports and Culture went on to appoint former Amavubi forward Mulisa as interim head coach. Other Germans who have coached Rwanda national team include; Otto Pfister (1972-76) and Rudi Gutendorf (1999).
Since 2001, Amavubi have had 10 permanent and five interim coaches. They include; Ratomir Dujkovic (2001-04), Roger Palmegren (2004-06), Micheal Nees (2006-07), Josip Kuže (2007-08), Raoul Shungu (2008, interim), Branko Tucak (2008-09).
Others are; Eric Nshimiyimana (2009-10, interim), Sellas Tetteh (2010-11), Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević (2011-13), Eric Nshimiyimana (2013-14), Stephen Constantine (2014-2015), Lee Johnson (2015, interim), McKinstry (2015-16), Gilbert Kanyankore (2016, interim) and Mulisa (2016, interim).
Mulisa for UEFA coaching course
Meanwhile, Amavubi interim head coach and FERWAFA’s assistant Technical Director, Mulisa is in Germany for a three-week International Coaching Course (UEFA B Level). The course, which runs from September 4 until 25, is organised and sponsored by the German Football Federation.
Mulisa left for Germany on Sunday after helping Amavubi hold Ghana to a 1-all draw away in Accra on Saturday. Mulisa was the assistant coach to McKinstry.
The three-week course includes 50 percent theory and the other 50 percent practical. The content is similar to DFB B & A Licence. The courses have proven to be effective in developing coaching skills.
In the previous years, Grace Nyinawumuntu, head coach of the national women’s team, Mashami (Bugesera FC), Seninga (Police FC), Thierry Hitimana (Rayon Sports) and Andre Cassa Mbungo (ex-AS Kigali and Police FC) are among the Rwandan coaches, who have benefited from the course.